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Professor Chris Hackley, BBC Radio 4, Boxing Day

Posted on 19/12/2012

Professor Chris Hackley, from the School of Management has taken part in a special recording of BBC Radio 4’s talk show “Thinking Allowed” on the pleasures of intoxication. The show is due to be broadcast on Boxing Day at 16:00. It will be repeated on Sunday December 30th after the midnight news, and available on BBC iplayer and as a download.   

Laurie Taylor hosted the discussion with Professor Hackley and addiction experts Professor Fiona Measham and Professor James Mills. In contrast to most media discussion around alcohol, the show explores the sociology and history of intoxication rather than focusing on policy or health issues.   

The invitation to take part was prompted by a recent paper Professor Hackley co-authored in the Journal of Marketing Management in which he applied the theories of literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin to young peoples’ stories of the role of alcohol in their social lives.

The paper is the most recent of several deriving from an ESRC funded study with three colleagues from the universities of Birmingham and Bath. Previous papers from this study highlighted the way that extremely high alcohol consumption had not only become thoroughly taken-for-granted for many young people, but was regarded as a necessary accessory to a fun night out. In addition, the extreme drinking and consequent exposure to risk deepened and intensified the sense of bonding and friendships within the group, and facilitated a sense of escape from routine life.  

The Bakhtinian analysis, which Professor Hackley led, added detail to this sense of escape and contributed to the understanding of what young drinkers seem to get from the cultural phenomenon of ‘binge’ drinking. In the show, Professor Hackley discusses the subversion of social norms, the self-parody and bodily excess of extreme drinking culture in the light of Bakhtin’s theory of carnival.

For a pre-print draft, and details of previously published papers from the young people and alcohol project, click here 

Link to: MA Marketing


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